Washington, DC, Schools with Sewing Classes
Sewing classes are offered at a number of different schools in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, including the three highlighted below. In addition to the program summaries, this resource includes a table with important information about each school, as well as a paragraph that describes an additional educational option for fine sewers and fashionistas.
- Howard University offers several sewing classes through its undergraduate program in fashion design. The school's campus is located right in Washington, DC.
- Marymount University in Virginia, located about five miles from Washington, DC, offers two bachelor's degree programs in fashion design and merchandising. Both programs provide instruction in sewing techniques and methods.
- Baltimore City Community College in Maryland, offers certificate and associate's degree programs in fashion design that include sewing classes. At about 40 miles, this school is the furthest away from Washington, DC.
Comparison of Schools
The following table has been designed to provide you with an institutional snapshot of the three featured schools. In addition to tuition and financial aid figures, it includes admissions, graduation and retention statistics.
|Howard University||Marymount University||Baltimore City Community College|
|School Type||4-year; private, not-for-profit||4-year; private, not-for-profit||2-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2019)||9,399*||3,363*||4,909*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Midsize city||Large city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020)||$27,206*||$33,330*||$3,314 in-state; $7,394 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2018-2019)||99%*||98%*||72%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2019)||36%*||81%*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2018-2019)||86% for full-time students; 67% for part-time students*||72% for full-time students; 88% for part-time students*||46% for full-time students; 24% for part-time students*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||65% (for those who began their studies in 2013)*||58% (for those who began their studies in 2013)*||14% (for those who began their studies in 2016)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Howard University is a 4-year, private not-for-profit school. The university's undergraduate fashion design program can be found through the Department of Art.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design with a Concentration in Fashion Design
This fashion design program requires the completion of at least 122 credits of coursework. Courses are available in design concepts, textile science, international trade and fashion marketing. Topics in sustainability, product development, entrepreneurship and illustration are also part of the program.
The fashion studio classes offer instruction in various sewing techniques and methods. Students also have the opportunity to design and create individual projects under the guidance of instructors. Undergraduates in the fashion design program may also participate in field experiences, travel tours and practicums.
Marymount University, a 4-year, private not-for-profit school located in Arlington, VA, offers undergraduate programs in fashion design and fashion merchandising. They include several sewing courses for prospective students seeking to develop their skills.
Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design
Students who enroll in this program explore textiles, clothing construction and visual merchandising techniques. Coursework includes merchandise planning and analysis, principles of costume and theater, product development and fashion illustration. Students must complete a senior seminar, a fashion design portfolio, an independent project and an internship.
Courses that incorporate sewing techniques include clothing construction, clothing analysis, apparel design and tailored garment structures. Students must take a series of liberal arts courses, including the natural and social sciences, mathematics, the humanities and ethics; studies in experiential and inquiry learning and writing are also required.
Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising
The merchandising curriculum focuses on the business aspects of the industry and provides training in fashion buying, merchandise planning and analysis, promotions and marketing; students also learn about clothing selection, product development and retailing. Required coursework includes sewing-related topics in apparel design, tailoring and draping.
Baltimore City Community College
Baltimore City Community College in Baltimore, MD, offers sewing classes as a part of the school's fashion design certificate and degree programs. Students can take these classes to fulfill degree requirements, but those who are just interested in learning how to sew can also enroll in individual classes.
Certificate in Fashion Design
The certificate program in fashion design requires the completion of 43-46 credits. This program includes several courses that focus on sewing techniques and methods. The curriculum explores apparel technology, flat pattern design, historic costumes, design by draping and tailoring techniques.
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design
The associate's degree program in fashion design is a 2-year course of study with 66-68 credits of coursework. Students learn everything from illustrating apparel designs and pattern-making to fabric selection and sewing. Classes cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of fashion design, but an emphasis is placed on hands-on training.
Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design - Fashion Retailing Option
Baltimore City Community College offers an additional associate's degree program for prospective students who may be interested in pursuing a career in fashion retailing. This 2-year program is more business oriented and consists of coursework in marketing, apparel buying, retailing and management. Aspiring professionals also learn about the principles of selling, visual merchandising, fashion show production and entrepreneurship. Once enrolled, students can take sewing-related courses in fashion design and textiles.
Other School Options
Prospective students interested in exploring other school options may want to consider the Maryland Institute College of Art. The college, which offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber program, is located about 40 miles from Washington, DC., in Baltimore, MD. The Fiber Department, which administers the degree program, offers several courses that include sewing as a component of classroom instruction. Examples include garment design and production, costume design, material construction and quilts.